There is a common practice or notion among Filipino families that they should bear more children so that in the future, their children will save them and pull them out of poverty. So the more kids you have, the higher chances you have in gaining financial freedom. When the kids grow up and are strong enough to earn money, their parents require them to remit money. Some parents would even stop working and tell their kids, “Kayo naman kumita ng pera at supportahan ‘tong pamilya” (It’s your turn to earn a living and support this family). Parents with this mindset equate love with money. That’s why when their kids don’t give enough, they are labelled as ‘walang utang na loob‘ (you are ungrateful).
If we want to grow as a nation, this practice has to stop in this generation. It is a retrogression. As best-selling author Dean Pax Lapid wrote in his book Be Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy Today (co-authored by Bro. Bo Sanchez), “Children are not investments with a rate of return; they are commitments of our parental love.”
As parents, we need to support our kids until the day we die without expecting anything in return. We feed them, we send them to best schools possible, we equip them to be better citizens. When they are ready, they will start their own family and love others.
It is not the obligation of our children to feed us, to shelter us and to provide us with our needs. If your children do these things to you, that is because they love you, not because it is their obligation.
For parents who require their children to remit money, I believe that deep inside, they don’t want that either. I believe nobody wants to feel helpless. They just don’t know of any other way of surviving.
I believe there are two reasons behind the existence of this practice:
1. Lack of financial knowledge.
For me, Financial Management is a life skill. It has to be taught in schools, regardless of the course. Whether you want to go into business, practice your profession or manage a household. A lot of people think that handling money is only for businessmen, accountants and financial advisers. Believe me. Everyone needs to learn this. There are lots of materials on the Internet and seminars offered everywhere.
I am an Accountant and I had this wrong thinking before that I will be able to learn Financial Management naturally. I was proud. I learned it the painful way. I made lots of business failures because I didn’t know anything about money. I am still learning up to this day. Knowledge and skills do not naturally come. You need to deliberately learn and practice them in order to embed them into your life.
If you are starting your career, don’t just learn the technicalities of your profession, learn how to handle money. Your financial wisdom should grow as well.
2. Believing that “Money is the root of all evil”
“Money is the root of all evil” is a crazy religious belief. It is the same reason why poor people hate the rich.
Money is just like any other resource. It is like gas, Internet, food, electricity, and so on. Our purpose defines the effect of these resources. Take for instance the Internet, if you connect to the Internet to research on how to reduce poverty then using the Internet is good. If you use Internet for pornography or sending the details of a drug trade, then using the Internet is bad. Another one is electricity. Electricity powers our appliances and lights up our homes but it can be used to electrocute someone also.
Same thing with money, it all depends on the purpose why you want money. Is it because you want to buy a new car to show off to your neighbor? Is it because you want to buy a condominium unit so that you can have a mistress? Is it because you want to send your kids to school? Is it bacause you want to buy books and share it to the needy? Is it because you want to put up an orphanage so abandoned kids will have a home? Your purpose is what makes money good or bad.
For me, there is only one reason why we need to be wealthy and that is to bless other people. We came into this world naked and we will leave naked as well. We don’t own anything. We are practically borrowing them. All of us are passersby in this world. If you are blessed with resources, ask yourself, are you a good steward?